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Julia Child, culinary ambassador

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Boeuf bourguignon, french bread, chicken stock, salad dressing - if you can eat it, Julia Child knows how to make it. Since the publication of her groundbreaking cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 1961, Child has helped change the way North Americans think about food. In this 1991 clip, the author and TV host sips tea with CBC Radio's Vicki Gabereau and recalls her past with the U.S. diplomatic service.
• Born in California in 1912, Julia Child served in the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (the precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency) during the Second World War. On a posting in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) she met her husband, Paul Child. His career took them to Paris, where Julia embraced French cooking by enrolling in the Cordon Bleu culinary school in 1949. • Along with her French collaborators, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, Child spent 10 years writing Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the first cookbook of French dishes and techniques aimed at an American audience. It was published in two volumes in 1961 and 1970.

• Child became a familiar face on American television in the 1960s with her show The French Chef, in which she demonstrated how to make the recipes from her cookbook. Audiences were charmed by her distinctive voice, her towering stature (she stood over two metres tall) and her assurances that they, too, could cook the French way.

• Julia Child died in August 2004. Five years later, she was portrayed by Meryl Streep in the movie Julie and Julia, based on Child's 2006 memoir My Life in France and the blog of New Yorker Julie Powell. For a year, Powell cooked her way through every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking and documented the results online and in a subsequent book.

Medium: Radio
Program: Gabereau
Broadcast Date: May 6, 1991
Guest(s): Julia Child
Host: Vicki Gabereau
Duration: 21:17 Photo: AP Photo

Last updated: May 7, 2014

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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